Startup Canada revealed some numbers surrounding its Startup Canada Day on the Hill, which was held in Ottawa last week.
According to the organization, more than 700 people attended the event, which consisted of numerous keynote addresses, discussion panels, and small meetings between entrepreneurs and Members of Parliament. Seven federal cabinet ministers attended, alongside 5 Members of Parliament and 450 entrepreneurs.
“Canada can realize its potential for social and economic growth by supporting entrepreneurs from the bottom up,” said Victoria Lennox, CEO and cofounder of Startup Canada. “A culture that supports entrepreneurship feeds startup growth, and government needs to work with those in the trenches, like Startup Canada, to ensure Canada remains competitive.”
“Canada’s startups and the entrepreneurs who run them are known for their tenacity, their creativity and their innovative nature,” added Minister of State for Small Business Maxime Bernier, who hosted the event in partnership with Startup Canada. “Our job as a government is to make sure the right conditions are in place for them to grow their businesses and to succeed.”
A key theme to the day was immigration, which made Canada’s Startup Visa Program a hot topic at the event.
“Innovation and entrepreneurship drives economic growth and helps to secure future prosperity for all Canadians,” said Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. “Immigration is vital to innovation and to meeting Canada’s economic and labour market needs.”
At the event, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Diane Finley announced the fourth call for proposals for the Build in Canada Innovation Program.
“Entrepreneurs have such an important role in driving innovation in this country, which in turn creates jobs and economic growth for Canada,” Minister Finley. “Our job as a government is to fuel that spirit and drive in Canada, and this new Call for Proposals will help kick-start businesses by getting their innovative products and services from the lab into the market.”
Another theme that emerged throughout the day is the importance of investing in strong communities that support entrepreneurs.
“We recognize that government does not have all the answers to dealing with society’s social challenges,” said Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism. “Communities and businesses have long been the leaders in finding innovative solutions to helping vulnerable Canadians. Governments should tap into these solutions and no longer ignore them.”